Showing posts with label Maniwaya Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maniwaya Island. Show all posts

Round Up: Marinduque Trip

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It pays to travel to the not so obvious places, to the tough ones, it’s always an opportunity to discover and learn new things. A Marinduque trip is one of such. To make a long story short – a long story that involves experiencing the gift of nature in different range and forms, but shortly cursing the stars with a sojourn so quick to end – I’m doing this round up. 

Early May this year, we sped along that long drive from Calamba Laguna to Dalahican Port in Lucena intensely hoping to catch the 10:30 pm RoRo trip towards that heart-shaped island trivially known to be the center of the Philippines. We were six in the group, all in hurry running late. Unfortunately, dust of devils seemed to swirl around our way as we rode that hopeless bus fingers-crossed to catch the last trip. And in an instant, there they were – the anger, paranoia, heartbreak, and bitterness that raced against each other as we’re welcomed with such a bad news: we didn’t make it. Instead, we ended up waiting for the first trip to come later at around 4 am the following day. Right then, two of my main expectations were dispelled. One, that my first long ride across the sea will memorably be a good one, and two, that I may have my much-needed sleep at that time. Obviously, I haven’t had a nice sleep the whole time and aboard. It was a painstaking wait compounded by the delayed voyage and the long drift itself. But the good heavens soon presented the first wave of surprise with the breathtaking sunrise right before our eyes. And the skies were blanketed by a bloody rosy blend that slowly broke into positively uplifting hues suggesting a good day ahead. And good day it was.

We made it safely to Balanacan Port eventually after four sleepless hours. From there, we took lift to Sta. Cruz where we’re supposed to stay. We were dropped to the city proper alongside Sta. Cruz Cathedral before finally proceeding to Bancuangan. The good day officially started with a mouth-watering breakfast meal courtesy of our hosts. Indeed, the best foods in life are free. Then by 10 am, we pushed through with our first stop: Bagumbungan Cave at Brgy. San Isidro, Sta Cruz.


We then started walking back to where we have entered; eventually giving us a view of that much coveted light once more, as we finally reached the mouth of the cave, and generously gave a final sight of such sarcophagus we just came out from.  We traveled back to Bancuangan at around 1 PM. On our way back, we had this little mission, accomplished:


It was almost 2 PM already when we reached Bancuangan for lunch, keeping in mind that in a few minutes, we’re heading to our next destination: Maniwaya Island. We took a quick rest before packing up and further our way to that island.


We spent the night over the island. And before finally leaving hours before lunchtime the next day, we were able to experience the refreshing island taste through their buko at very affordable prices.

We then travelled back to the mainland and arrived just in time for lunch. We took the liberty of exploring Marinduque food through the infamous Rico’s Inn strategically located at the city proper. We did kill a substantial amount of good time there before deciding to further explore the city and buy some mandatory pasalubong. Few walks from there and we were able to find a stall that fulfilled our aim. Marinduque is known for its local delicacies such as uraro, ube jam, and banana chips, among others. After the swift shopping, we decided to go back to our base to take another break in preparation for our next trek.


It was already 4 PM when we resume with our itinerary. From where we were, Kawa Kawa Falls was an hour walk away so we wasted no time for us not to catch by the dark.


It was franticly getting dusky when we get on our feet and leave the darkling woods. And it took us just the right time to walk and manage to spare school supplies to the children along the way. It was yet another good time extending a little help to them. It’s always a wonderful feeling just seeing those wide smiles.

We took a good sleep that night, enough to prepare ourselves for the most exigent stint of this trip yet: the extra challenging climb to a hill in Hinanggayon where The Luzon Datum of 1911 is located, the wicked center of the Philippines. Within minutes, we find ourselves hitting the road again.


Running late and hugely conscious about time, we rushed our way down at around 1 PM. We were largely scarce with water at hand which made the descent even hard. But to a much shorter time than we expect, we safely arrived at the jump-off. The first thing to look for was a cold drink, but much to our surprise, there was more there is than we crave for. Coincidentally, it was there barangay fiesta that time so the locals unselfishly offered us the best food there is on their plates, all for free. Unlike the water scarce we experienced earlier, good people are still all around the place, and they do come when we least expect them. Even after treating us with a satisfying meal, their kindness didn’t end just yet. They even escorted us to where we could rent a boat for our way back to Balanacan Port.

In thirty minutes, we boarded the RoRo again, and the sad truth presented itself – we’re definitely going back to reality once more.


Note: Excuse the induced self-plagiarism

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Maniwaya Island: Beach Please

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Truth be told, paradise do exist. 

Situated at the far north-eastern part of Marinduque is Maniuaya Island, the paradise at large that is ironically small in the map. Saying it’s underrated is prolly an understatement; I’m afraid I could not give justice picking the proper adjectives there is upon writing this, thus, it’s still best if you’ll see it yourself and give it the praise it deserves, as doing such is way too out of my expertise. However, to put things in their simplest forms, let's get to a common notion on it's main asset: the beach.

Fresh from a tiring cave stretch we previously had, we jumped our way to this haven with a boat chartered exclusively for the group, at late past noontime. Since I never had any overnight island experience prior to this, I have nothing to compare the experience with. But my hopes were sky-high that this would be an excellent one merely by considering the distance we had to travel just to reach this one. We were practically miles away from the busy city streets and I could help but imagine the raw beauty waiting for us at the end of the stride. Perhaps. I wasn't mistaken.

As soon as the boat pulled off, the vibe was great with clear skies decorated with the searing sun and the breeze leaving a cooling skin touch. The waves were awesomely cool and occasionally challenging at the same time gracing us a bumpy but perfect ride. I was too restless and sleepy at that moment out of tiredness but the ride was too good to lose a glance at. So I was practically all-eyes all throughout the voyage merrily feasting my eyes with the amazingly clear turquoise waters, keeping in mind we were venturing a beaten path, in which, where my heart is. We were merrily feeling the breeze and unbelievably praising the crystal clear waters as we stride and in about an hour, our feet were finally chasing the island’s mix of fine and sugary but white sands.

We arrived at the unspoiled, obscured, rugged destination just in the nick of time. The sun was still up but was fast approaching the horizon in nearly less than an hour. We took a few minutes appreciating the entire scene before capturing some moments as the sun was also ghastly leaving. The plan was to leave this island the next day before the clock’s hands strike the top of the hour, thus we made it to the point not to miss the grand sunset before our very eyes. Well enough, we did get one hell of a good shoot, and it’s a proud feeling to present these ones. Credits go to the respective photographers who took these shots.

Comes night-time and we’ve had enough of the beach course, but the adventure was totally not over yet. For the night was dark and full of adventures, we celebrated ourselves with a bottle of light, a handful of laughs, and music under the cloudless sky, before finally treating ourselves a very satisfying night’s sleep. The next day came, and we never had enough of the island’s offers yet thus we had another round of beach exploration before packing up.

Despite such short stay, I could say that the island itself was great, much to relaxation and serenity it has purportedly showed me. We could have stayed there a little longer but our itinerary points us to leave before the lunchtime. True enough, we really had no idea what good things are coming our way after that.. to be continued
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